Women’s Basketball Team Captures ECAC Championship

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            BROOKLYN, NY – Hartwick's women's basketball team captured the program's first ECAC Championship on Sunday with an epic 67-62 victory over Brooklyn College at the West Quad Center in Brooklyn. The Hawks battled back from a 10-point second-half deficit to claim the ECAC Division III Metro crown.
            Tournament Most Outstanding Player Maria Foglia (Rensselaer, NY/Catholic Central) scored 15 points, including four straight with under a minute left to help secure the victory.
            Today's win is the team's third straight in the tournament away from Lambros Arena. The Hawks went on the road to down College of Staten Island in its gym, Rutgers-Newark in overtime last night, and the top-seeded Bulldogs on their home floor en route to the championship.
             Freshman Brittney Dumas (Easton, CT/Joel Barlow) had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Kate Purcell (Buffalo, NY/Mount Mercy Academy) added 15 points and Carlee Hirt (Beacon, NY/John Jay-East Fishkill) contributed 10.
            "I'm so proud of how these girls played these last three games," said Hartwick head coach Missy West. "We came ready to win this thing and we played to do just that. We finally completed what we set out to do."
            The Bulldogs exploded out of the gate to start the second half as Brittany Bowen drilled two straight three-pointers to extend a one-point Brooklyn halftime lead into a nine-point, 39-30, advantage after just 2:12. The lead swelled to 10 points 2:27 later on a Char Saint Laurent triple and it appeared the championship was not to be for 'Wick.
            A 13-2 run over the next five minutes, however, capped by a Foglia three-pointer would vault the Hawks in front, 47-46, with 10:14 left to go. They would not trail again the rest of the way.
            A driving layup from Alicia Razanousky (Stuyvesant, NY/Ichabod Crane) would put the Hawks in front for good with 8:37 left. The two teams traded buckets for the next four minutes as the Hawks maintained their advantage.
            Vanessa D'Ambrosia's driving layup for the Bulldogs trimmed the lead to just two, 59-57, with 4:42 on the clock. Dumas would come back with a crucial three-pointer to put 'Wick up five 26 seconds later. Nicole Francomano's layup made it 62-59 with 4:09 left and neither team added to their total for the next three minutes.
            Foglia snapped the spell with a layup with 58 ticks remaining and Purcell picked up a big steal on the defensive end to give possession back to the Hawks. The Bulldogs fouled and put Foglia to the line with 36 seconds on the clock. She sank both to essentially put the game and championship away.
            After a missed shot and offensive board, Francomano was fouled and went to the line for Brooklyn with only 13.3 seconds left. She made one of two and after a Hartwick miss on the line, she added a layup to close the gap to four, 66-62. Only 1.6 seconds showed on the clock, though, and Purcell closed out the scoring with two free throws with a second remaining.
            Foglia, Purcell, Dumas and Hirt combined to shoot 23-of-36 (64%) from the field and 6-of-10 (60%) from three-point range.
            Foglia made 5-of-8 shots and two three-pointers. She added six rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Purcell hit 6-of-10 shots and two threes. She also had three assists and two steals.
            Dumas made 7-of-11 with a pair of triples and her 11 rebounds was a game-high. Hirt connected on 5-of-7 from the field to go along with five rebounds and two assists for the Hawks. Razanousky ended the game with six points.
            "Players stepped up in every game to help us win," added West. "Alicia had a great tournament and Carlee had a great game today. Rachel Hunt (Penfield, NY/Webster Schroeder) and Taylor Vonasek (Willington, CT/E.O. Smith) stepped up in critical times when we needed them. Brittney hit big shots toward the end of the game, Maria was clutch, and Kate did a good job handling the pressure we faced every game. Sammy Villarini (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) gave us solid minutes at the point."
            As a group, Hartwick shot 54% (27-of-50) today. It marked the best shooting performance for the Hawks in the last 12 games. From downtown, the Hawks made 6-of-13 shots (46%) and they converted 7-of-12 from the line (58%).
            The Bulldogs made 42.6% (23-for-54). They also connected on 10-of-27 (37%) in the second half compared to Hartwick's 50% (14-for-28) showing.
            Bowen led all scorers with 19 points. She made five threes on the afternoon. D'Ambrosi added 15 points and Francomano scored 11.
            Hartwick raced out in front in the early going as they scored the game's first seven points for a 7-0 lead 3:10 into the contest. An 8-2 Bulldog run got BC back into it just over two minutes later.
            The Hawk lead grew to five four separate times over a six-minute span. Foglia would score seven points in the spurt with Dumas netting four.
            A Hirt jumper with 3:57 left increased the advantage to six points, 27-21. Three straight Bulldog points narrowed the gap to three, but Purcell buried a three-pointer from the corner to build the lead back to six, 30-24, with 1:39 to play.
            Brooklyn would storm back to close the half, though, as it tallied the final seven points over the final 46 seconds to take its first lead of the day and head into halftime up one, 32-31. Combined with its second half spurt, Brooklyn outscored Hartwick 15-0 over a three-minute span.
            Both teams shot well in the first half. Hartwick made 59.1% (13-of-22) and 60% (3-of-5) from three-point range. The Bulldogs made 48% (13-for-27) from the floor.
            Hartwick reaches the 22-win mark for the fourth time in program history and second straight season. The Hawks' 44 wins over the last two seasons ties for second-most at Hartwick over a two-year span.
            With her two threes today, Purcell tied a program record for triples in a single season (55). Foglia's pair from deep gives her 50 for the year. She is just the third player at Hartwick to make 50 in one season.
            "Once we heard we made the ECAC Tournament, we felt like we had a second life and we weren't about to take it for granted," said West. "I'm very proud as a coach and it's a great way to end the season – as champions."